Relief of symptoms: Certain measures, such as adequate support of the breasts and wearing a bra at night, may provide relief from many of the symptoms of fibrocystic breast condition. Pain medications, including acetaminophen (Tylenol®) and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medications (NSAIDs), often reduce the breast pain significantly.
Hormonal irregularities: Some women with very irregular menstrual cycles seem to progressively suffer more fibrocystic breast disease. This tendency is most likely due to the prolonged and irregular hormonal stimulation of the breasts. In these patients, it is sometimes helpful to establish menstrual cycle regularity with oral contraceptives. Regular cycles seem to allow the breast tissue to recover more completely at the end of each menstrual cycle. A doctor will determine the length of hormonal therapy.
In patients who have had a hysterectomy and who are on hormone therapy, it may be helpful to be "off estrogen" for five days during each monthly cycle rather than remain on continuous estrogen. Again, this schedule is designed to avoid the continuous stimulation of the breast tissues by estrogen. It is important that any such hormone regulation be under the direct supervision of a doctor.
Certain common hormonal (endocrine) abnormalities, such as diabetes or thyroid dysfunction, may contribute to fibrocystic breast condition. Since these conditions may aggravate the symptoms of fibrocystic breast condition, they should be diagnosed and treated.
Other medications: Studies have reported some benefit from the short term use of the antiestrogenic drug tamoxifen (Nolvadex®) in relieving breast pain. However, tamoxifen use may be associated with a number of adverse effects, especially in postmenopausal women, and its use should be limited to the short term. Adverse effects can include blood clots (thrombosis); endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterine lining); abnormal growth of uterine tissue (endometriosis); stroke (neurological damage due to a lack of blood flow to the brain); fertility issues; and hair and nail thinning.
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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